There are few things as wonderful as the anticipation of welcoming a new family member. The expectations of the joy that the parents will experience and the hope for the child’s future form the foundation for the anticipation surrounding labor and birth. However, when something goes tragically wrong during the birth process, the altered reality is devastating. In many cases, parents facing the challenges of a lifetime of caring for a child who was harmed as the result of medical negligence do not realize the financial, emotional, and mental burden that they have undertaken. It is crucial to get the resources that the child needs to live the best life possible.
Many different things can go wrong in the delivery process that can lead to serious harm to the baby. Some of these terrible events are completely unavoidable, but when human error leads to long-term harm to an innocent child, it is important to understand the legal options that may help a child receive the aid the he or she needs. Things may go wrong during the pregnancy that lead to a child being born with a serious medical condition. Some of the problems may be the result of a failure to diagnose or properly treat an illness during pregnancy.
A few of the all-too-common issues that lead to birth injuries include:
- Failure to diagnose an infection during pregnancy – a woman who suffers from an untreated infection during pregnancy may pass along many serious complications to her unborn child during the pregnancy or birth process;
- Failure to treat an infection or other illness in the appropriate manner – it does not matter if a doctor or other medical provider makes the right diagnosis if he or she does not follow-through with the correct care;
- Prescribing the wrong medication – there are many drugs that can have serious side-effects for an unborn child. If one of those drugs is mistakenly prescribed to a woman who is pregnant, the consequences may be horrific; and
- Failure to respond to a serious medical condition – even if the mother and doctor do everything right, there may be times when a medical issue jeopardizes the welfare of the unborn child. If the doctor does not respond to this emergency situation with the right degree of urgency and the proper care, then the child may suffer far more severe injuries than he or she would have with an appropriate response.
In addition to the terrible, and actionable, mistakes that may be made during the course of a pregnancy, there also are events that take place during the delivery process, or immediately afterwards, that lead to devastating harm.
Some of the more common types of negligence include:
- Failure to monitor fetal or maternal distress – through the advancement of medical technology, it is possible to monitor the health of the baby. This makes the development of a problem readily detectable. If the medical personnel, including doctors and nurses, fail to respond properly to changes in the baby’s medical status, including fetal distress, then it could lead to a lifetime of health problems, or even the death of the infant;
- Failure to order an emergency Cesarean section – there are situations where time is of the essence. If the mother or infant goes into distress, it is critical to order a Cesarean section as soon as possible in order to minimize the risk of harm to the baby and his or her mother;
- Failure to use medical devices properly – there are many injuries to babies during the delivery process through the use of forceps, vacuum extractor, and other devices that were misused or used under the wrong circumstances; and
- Failure to diagnose or respond to a serious problem in a newborn.
One of the biggest questions that parents of a child who was injured during pregnancy or at some point in the delivery process is whether someone made a mistake that led to the harm. This complex issue often requires analysis by people who understand what may have gone wrong and know how to uncover evidence in the medical records to make initial determinations. Once there is sufficient information to believe that there was malpractice, it is necessary to retain a medical expert who can establish the standard of care that applies to the situation and testify about how the actions of the doctor, nurse, or other medical professional deviated from the standard. Proving a medical malpractice claim is a complex matter, but in many cases, legal action is the only means of obtaining the funds and resources to provide the best possible care for an injured child. Working with the right medical malpractice attorneys one of the most important decisions that the parent of an injured child can make.
Stern Law, PLLC Advocates for Young Victims of Medical Malpractice
An injury to a baby is one of the most traumatic events that a parent can endure. At Stern Law, PLLC, our medical malpractice attorney understands the heartbreak and struggle that families go through when a child is harmed as a result of medical negligence. We have spent more than 30 years fighting for the rights and interests of injured children and we will use the skills and knowledge to get the best possible results for your child. Stern Law, PLLC also offers information and resources to anyone with questions about medical malpractice. We have knowledgeable and compassionate staff members available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to answer questions. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.